PhD Courses in Denmark

Orientation and reconciliation: Doing Christology for the 21st Century

Faculty of Theology at University of Copenhagen

NB - New date (26 August 2021).

The seminar will be conducted in hybrid format (on Campus and online).

Christology is at the same time one of the most decisive and one of the most complicated topics in Christian theology.  Decisive, because it reflects on the nerve of Christian faith, confessing Jesus as Christ, and complicated, as since the antique, it has been in the crossfire of controversies and today is the arena of diverging theological approaches. An issue today is whether it is possible to bridge the gap between Christology as, for example, a function of the self-consciousness of believers – and Christology as proceeding from the orientational possibilities of praxises and language of faith. That is the viewpoint of Heinrich Assel, professor for systematic theology at the University of Greifswald, who is the author of the three-volume work Elementare Christologie (Gütersloh 2020) and the guest speaker of this seminar.

The seminar gives opportunity to reflect on and discuss contemporary challenges for Christology in company with Assel and to explore the possibilities of “elementary Christology” taking its point of departure in basic situations of orientation, such as political/societal initiatives of reconciliation.

As preparation for the seminar we will read a chapter from Elementare Christologie (an English translation is available) on “Atonement and Reconciliation Today. The Example of Poles and Germans”. Please contact Christine S-V Põder ( to get a copy.

The seminar is organised as a PhD-course and doctoral students from all faculties are welcome.

Teaching methods: a combination of lectures, readings, paper presentations by PhD-students and panel discussions.

ECTS: 2 ECTS-points are given to each presenting participant, while 0,5 ECTS are given for participation without presentation.

Proposed topics for papers, but not limited to: Ancient and modern Christology, reformation theology, political theology, 20th century thought.  


Preliminary program:

10.00-10.15: Welcome and introduction

10.15-11.00: Lecture: Heinrich Assel, professor for systematic theology, University of Greifswald: Orientation and reconciliation: What are elementary approaches to Christology?

11.00-11.45: Discussion

11.45-12.45: Lunch break

12.45-14.15: PhD paper sessions

14.15-14.30: Coffee break

14.30-15.30: PhD paper sessions

15.30-16.00: Discussion and concluding remarks

Registration: Please register via email to If you wish to present a paper at the seminar, please also send a short abstract of no more than 500 words ( no later than 30 June 2021.

Course organiser: Associate professor/lektor Christine Svinth-Værge Põder in cooperation with the PhD-school of the Faculty of Theology, University of Copenhagen.